MANITOBA, CANADA — The governments of Canada and Manitoba on March 23 announced plans to invest nearly C$484,000 in equipment and infrastructure to complete the Prairie Agricultural Machinery Institute’s (PAMI) grain innovation facility located near Portage la Prairie. The funds will be used to add basic infrastructure needs, as well as specialized equipment such as hopper bins, a grain weighing wagon, lighting, conveyors, ventilation fans and related research instruments.
AAFC Minister Lawrence MacAulay
Lawrence MacAulay, minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

“Canada’s agriculture and agri-food sector is a key driver of our economy,” said Lawrence MacAulay, minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. “As we innovate new crops and enhance existing ones, we need improvements in storage to keep up with an evolving sector. This funding will help Canadian grain producers grow their businesses and stay competitive, while creating good well-paying jobs in the local economy.”

Ralph Eichler, agriculture minister for Manitoba, added, “Manitoba has an internationally-recognized network of grain handling and storage manufacturers, making this investment essential to supporting the future of these sectors while preserving the quality and standards of our grain products. For Manitoba’s value-added processing industries to grow, we must also continually improve how we store agricultural commodities, with the goal of avoiding spoilage and other losses.”

Once the project is complete, research at the facility is expected to be used by the farming community and agribusiness sector. Funding for the project was provided through Growing Forward 2 (GF2).

“The scale of grain storage bins has increased 10 to 20 times over the last 30 years,” said Harvey Chorney, vice-president and manager of PAMI’s Manitoba operations. “On top of that, innovations in crops and harvesting techniques are changing the characteristics of grain going into bins. Scientific and engineering testing has not kept up, leaving agricultural producers in a risky position. The research facilities made possible by this funding will help us to answer new questions in grain storage.”

PAMI is a non-profit applied research, development and testing organization, serving the agriculture industry in western Canada and internationally. It directly employs 11 people in Portage la Prairie and surrounding areas and completed 126 agricultural research projects last year. The organization’s work is directed by an independent board of producers and the Manitoba and Saskatchewan governments.